Benjamin Franklin

Cap-Stone of the Great American Empire

The political theory that emerged from the Revolution and the debates surrounding the Constitution was not “a matter of deliberation as it was a matter of necessity.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 593.

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Franklin The Turncoat?

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most well-known and most revered Founding Fathers, had a more controversial history than most modern Americans realize. In the late 1750s and early 1760s, Franklin was a “complete Anglophile.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 79. He made “disparaging comments about the provinciality and vulgarity of America in […]

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The Adulation of the Founding Fathers

Gordon Wood began his 2006 book Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by stating that “[n]o other major nation honors its past historical characters, especially characters who existed two centuries ago, in quite the manner we Americans do.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 3. He continued, stating that Americans “want to know […]

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The Happiest People Upon the Earth

At the beginning of the 1800s, the American economy was becoming an unconventionally successful economy. Domestic commerce was “incalculably more valuable” than foreign commerce and “the home market for productions of the earth and manufactures is of more importance than all foreign ones.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 707 quoting Nathan Miller, The Enterprise of a Free People: Aspects […]

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The American Spirit of Work

Arthur Young, an English writer who was supposedly enlightened and known for his writings about agriculture commented that “Everybody but an idiot knows that the lower class must be kept poor or they will never be industrious.” Derek Jarrett, England in the Age of Hogarth, (London, 1974), 79-80. This English belief, that the lower rungs of […]

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